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Antony Antoniou – Reform UK Northampton North
Prospective Parliamentary Candidate
(PPC) 2024 General Election


Disillusioned ‘True Blue Tories’ Find a New Home: Standing as MPs for Richard Tice’s Reform UK


In a surprising turn of events, a group of disillusioned ‘true blue Tories’ has made the decision to stand as Members of Parliament (MPs) for Richard Tice’s Reform UK. These former Conservative councillors, once staunch supporters of the party, now share their reasons for joining the insurgent Right-of-centre party.

A Shift in Allegiance: From Conservatives to Reform UK

David White, a 59-year-old councillor from the South Yorkshire market town of Barnsley East, never envisioned supporting any party other than the Conservatives. However, after twenty years as a loyal Conservative member, he made the bold move to join Reform UK at the end of 2022. Mr. White is now gearing up to stand against both the Conservatives and a shadow Labour minister candidate in the upcoming general election.

Concerns Over the Tories’ Direction

Former chairman of his local Conservative association and a prominent figure in the wider South Yorkshire association, Mr. White expressed deep concerns about the direction of the Conservative Party. He cited dissatisfaction with Boris Johnson’s leadership, stating that the ousting of Liz Truss was the final straw. According to Mr. White, the backbiting, infighting, and the handling of leadership transitions left him disillusioned with the Tories.

Reform UK: A Return to Traditional Values

Mr. White, now a member of Reform, believes that the party’s leadership has “other people’s interests at heart” and that Reform represents a return to the Conservative values of the mid-80s. He pointed out the failure of the Tories to address fundamental issues such as the cost of living crisis, illegal immigration, and the housing market, which, he claims, Reform is addressing head-on.

Migration Concerns and the Appeal of Reform

Cllr Robert Bromley, elected as a Conservative deputy mayor in Surrey in 2021, echoes the sentiment of discontent within the party. Unhappy with the infighting and believing that Rishi Sunak is in the wrong job, Cllr Bromley has joined Reform. One of the key issues attracting former Tories to Reform is the party’s stance on migration. Richard Tice advocates for a “net zero migration” policy, working on a “one in, one out” basis.

Personal Motivations: A Former Chairman Turns Candidate

Mark Hoath, Reform’s candidate in Sutton Coldfield, shares a personal motivation for his candidacy. As the former chairman of Andrew Mitchell’s Tory association until 2015, Hoath quit over Brexit and now views his one-time colleague as “acting more like a Lib Dem.” Dissatisfied with the current representation in his town, Hoath has turned to Reform and away from the Tories.

Growing Discontent: A Party in Turmoil

As discontent grows among parts of the Tory grassroots, the allure of Reform UK is becoming more evident. Despite Reform’s seemingly slim chances of winning seats in the House of Commons, the party is attracting a significant number of former Conservatives, polling as high as 13 per cent nationally. The once-struggling party is now drawing councillors and activists away from their former political home, highlighting the scale of dissatisfaction within the Conservative ranks as the country approaches the next election.

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